Lady Jackets fall in surprise playoff upset

Apr. 19—THOMASVILLE — The Thomas County Central girls soccer team was upset in Thursday night's round one playoff game against Riverwood. The Raiders surprised the Lady Jackets with an incredible amount of offense the likes of which Central hadn't seen this season.

It was a fairly even contest in the first half, with Central spending the majority of the time in their offensive zone. The Lady Jackets had a slight, but clear advantage offensively. Both the Jackets and the Raiders had free kick chances in the final 10 minutes, but neither goalkeeper felt tested in the first half as the horn sounded and the score was knotted at 0.

The seemingly equal match was quickly flipped on its head in the second half as Riverwood came out quick. Central looked slow and tired as Riverwood forced them to run all over the field. Central has been used to dominating all year, keeping the ball in their offensive end and rarely having to cross midfield. Riverwood was forcing them to run and it was working.

The Raiders almost scored very early on as the Central keeper was caught out of position after making a save. With 34 minute remaining, however, The Raiders found the back of the net and took a surprising 1-0 lead.

To Central's credit, they were immediately on the offensive, but were met with fierce opposition. The Raiders defense was doing an excellent job and, while Central was able to penetrate the box, Riverwood rarely allowed the Lady Jacket attackers to get a shot off.

Riverwood struck again with 28 minutes left to make it 2-0 and later scored the dagger from long distance, sealing the Lady Jackets' fate.

Despite the upset, this Central team was still one of the best teams in the state of Georgia. They finished the regular season a perfect 16-0 record and secured 10 shutouts on the year. They were perfect in the region and outscored region opponents 44-3.